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tv   Assignment 7  ABC  November 21, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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welcome to assignment 7. today on our program. what is behind an explosion of charter schools in california and why they are doing better when traditional schools are not. although the new exercise bicycle taking the pressure off lighting weight with peddl th the art of flower power. >> in a tight of economy where so maybe schools are facing budget cuts. charter schools are thriving. we have an analysis a nonprofit profit partner for investigative reporting. here is lyanne melendez. >> flexibility is one reason why
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charter schools are growing. this academy in east san jose is a good example. >> our students find about three qearh of day with regular classrooms with teachers and quarter after the day in the learning lab where they are on computers getting individualized instruction. >> they have a longer school day from 8:00 to 4:00 and tutoring for those that need it. unlike other schools they have a merit pay system for teachers, something the obama administration supports. >> we strongly believed that teachers should be recognized and for that excellence they should be rewarded for it and recognized for it. >> these are all things that traditional schools can't do because they must follow the curriculum imposed by the state and the parents are looking for alternatives. >> we are striving to get better
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education to get ready for college. >> this is one of four charter schools that opened in this year in santa clara county. according to california watch, the total number of charter schools in the state is 89. >> lewis freedberg is a reporter for california watch and he says in the hard economic times, flexibility has allowed charter schools to weather the storm. >> in terms of the length of day and teachers and how they deploy the teachers and getting outside volunteers. >> they are public and get the same funding as traditional schools. while they seem to be expanding, they aren't not all necessarily better. >> it's not a panacea for all kids for the entire country. we still need to really look at the regular public schools, how we are going to improve those
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and make sure that all kids get a good education. >> reporter: lyanne melendez, "abc 7 news." california's cash for appliances programs offers rebates for energy efficient appliances. >> patricia bought an energy efficient washing machine under cash for appliances. she looked forward to getting her hundred dollar rebate. >> i was kind of happy. >> she sent in her rebate form and the post office marked it return to sender, unable to forward. >> i thought, did i have the right address. i take it out and double checked it. >> she couldn't get an explanation so she called 7 on your side and we talked to the california energy commission. it runs the rebate program and has received dozens of similar complaints.
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>> we're working with the post office to make sure that consumers can send in their application as quick as possible. >> the post office is admitting fault, they say the local post office is working with the usps central forward system to determine the issue and correct it. however, not all returned applications can be blamed on the post office. someone returned for insufficient postage. >> there is five pieces of application and supporting documents that is needed and consumers should check with the post office to make sure they have adequate postage. >> donna wrote us about a different frustration. she has been unable to contact cash for appliances by phone or e-mail. many callers are getting a busy signal. >> the energy commission acknowledged the issues with the call center and we have done some improvement so consumers
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can get through. >> they set up a special each address that we possible posted on our website. dan says his rebate has been denied even though his refrigerator is on the approved list. >> we have received 100,000 applications and we acknowledge there has been errors in the program. >> john says he has received his check and half of the $32 million allocated port program has been given out and $14 million still remains on a first come, first served basis. we have a link to frequently asked questions on our website at some believe san francisco's dolores park is a victim of its own success. carolyn tyler explains. >> reporter: for many san
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franciscans that live in condos and apartments, the neighborhood park is their backyard. for some who live nearby it's too popular. there were 25ity city sanctioned events. >> i would like to see some other things happen in other parks. >> it's the place for cinco de mayo celebrations, dikes on bike gay pride party and not to mention spur of the moment things like box wars with competitors in cardboard boxes. she is with a group called safe, clean green and she wants fewer events. >> there are under age drinkers, people smoking pot all day and kids that are doing hair within. everybody goes by my house with open containers. >> the department posted signs
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reminding people that drinking and smoking are not allowed but some in the neighborhood don't want a crackdown. robert is a member of dolores park and he thinks they need to chill. >> one or two picnics, people expect the park to be. all of a sudden it becomes woodstock and they get nervous. it's what is happening, it's not the end of the schrorld more officers have been assigned to patrol the park following a recent stabbing. >> and we have a motorcycle unit to the park when they are not engaged in the activity. there has been increased prewz in the park. >> regular park users we talked with say they want a safe environment, but not a war on crime. >> i would hate to see it become the second coming of the prohibition movement.
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global warming and the california redwoods. >> it's critical to get up into the trees because that is where all the action is happening. >> coming up, the surprising findings from an unusual tree top research project. later, preschool proven to be an important weapon against fighting crime.
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and the goodness of dairy... gives you a little slice of happy. and happiness comes in 25 delicious flavors. explore them all. yoplait. it is so good. now the yoplait you love in a new four pack. try it today. california's ancient redwoods have survived floods, fires and loggers. but ofimpact of global warming is still a big question. dan ashley reports. this is an unconventional experiment taking place high above the ground. in the giant trees in the whittaker forest near king's canyon. we provided researchers with a camera. >> you spend the day crown
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mapping or branch mapping. >> two people have come together to study the giants. they were taking careful measurements and taking photos high up in the trees, they will count the leaves and measure the branches. >> then you have to hold that position while you count this with the other hand and get the measurement. >> they are hoping to determine whether global warming is having an impact on the last remaining grows of redwoods in the world. anthony ambrose is one of the tree climbing researchers. >> it's critical to get up in the trees because that is where all the sacks happening. that is what is going on in the tree in order to understand the tree and what it's doing and how it's growing and it's structure and function. we need to get up. threw can't study these trees from the ground. >> two centuries of logging decimated old growth redwoods. these ancient trees covered large portions of california but
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today only 5% of the original forest is left. over the next three years, they will branch out and climb the huge trees at 13 locations around the state as part of a $2.5 million project. we caught up the researchers in humboldt county where they launched the redwoods and climate change initiative. the goal is to answer one key question. >> what is the future of these trees, the at the convoy yeah and redwoods in a changing world. >> this is nonprofit dedicated to preserving these great trees. >> i can understand the trees and their function today so we can make smart decisions. >> climate changes is happening now. it's one of those things that we're going to look to happen in the future. if we don't start working on finding solutions now, these these, these species of all
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kinds are going to be gone. >> the study has yielded some interesting results. >> we're finding that trees that are over 1500 years old are going ever more in their history and that is completely unpredicted from basic scientific understanding in what happens to old trees. >> they found evidence of decreased fall where redwoods fall and fluctuations in the amount of water that is being absorbed by tree leaves. core samples is another tool in understanding the life of these trees. >> you get a limited view of the tree. >> getting samples high up in the trees used to mean waiting for them to fall. >> the key is the tree rings and having samples, stronger peaws more representative rings is going up in the tree. >> tree rings can uncover like past humidity, rainfall and
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temperature. to keep tabs they are installing sensitive monitoring equipment. >> we can monitor it and monitor things like the flow of water through the tree. >> 60 pounds and 40 pound of cabling. >> they hope to streamline those boxes into smaller devices that will placed on tree tops throughout forests. >> this is microclimate sensor so it will measure light, barometric pressure and quantify the climate of the tree. >> using the data collected they hope to be able to reserve what is left of these giants for future generations. >> coming up, the grind cycle a new device to help you getting moving again.áñáñáñáñáñ@ñ@ñ@ñ@ññ
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bay area police chiefs and early education specialists are pushing for greater funding for california pre-schools. the hope is that it will help prevent crime. pre-schools is an important tool in crime fighting. that is according to a new report from fight crime, invest in kids. coalition of california law enforcement leaders. >> kids who attend high quality learning programs are twice as likely not to get involved in violent krooms, be arrested. >> concord police chief cited statistics from the program which tracks two groups of children from age four to 40. >> by age 40 the children who did not attend the program were seven times more likely to be arrested for possession of dangerous drugs and twice as likely to be arrested for
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violent crimes. >> according to the report, quality early education saves $16 for every dollar invested. >> if we could take money from those programs and put in these programs we start to change that tide. >> the report also found preschool reduces special education placements in later years. in bay area, the savings is estimated to be $150 million per year. the report concludes that it's valuable and program directors say when it comes to funding from sacramento, the message is much different. sacramento is just saying not now we don't have enough money. >> kathy is director of child development center. in july she had to lay off one-third of her staff. >> they are not funding the need for quality child care. >> invest in kids is calling for leaders to shift from a k-12 education model to preschool
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through grade 12 approach and provide funding to support it. laura anthony, th. >> there is new exercise option for people in the bay area that can't put stress on their joints. carolyn johnson has that story. >> she remembers her high flying days as a flight instructor for nasa. her weight has doubled since she used to slip into her spacesuit. >> i need to get back to that. >> to drop the weight she turned to a unique exercise cycle. she is gliding instead. >> i'm gliding. >> the device has harness saddle like a bicycle taking the weight off the knees. instead of peddling they trot
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along in a running motion. >> it feels like you are glide inning water, like an upside-down swim stroke but you get more resistance in water. >> she has worked up the sweat she could never get in walking. >> your heart rate comes up immediately and yet as you finish each stroke you get a big glide out of it so you want to keep going. >> indoor version of the same technology is being used to treat amputees and surgery patients. at omega rehabilitation center, they are putting victor through the process. >> this patient has an opportunity to experience movement, full range of motion with the knees and hips without the weight. >> the doctor gordon levin believes the glide cycle technology is helping speed recovery times without endangering the repaired joints.
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>> this way he'll get a lot of exercise he wouldn't be able to get other ice wies. >> back in castro valley, lynn is setting a goal for her recesses she glides across the pavement. >> i would like to see 50 pounds come off right away. more and more women are becoming small business owners. now there is a contest to turn them into millionaires. teresa garcia talked with one local woman who found her path to success. >> hands on gourmet company is just that, everyone at an event pitches in to cook. san francisco bay to business offers parties and for corporate teen building. >> it's more about the experience with their colleagues than it is about cooking. >> for co-owner it began six years ago from humble beginning.
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>> the first was out of home. we started with $50,000 of our own money. by 2006 we had $106,000 in receive. >> they made the jump over the million dollar mark after she won an award in make mine million dollar business program. >> if you got a business and you got to $180,000 revenue we know we can help you get it to a million. >> in helping hands to hand on gourmet. the original founder of take our daughters to workday and heads up the national nonprofit counted me in for women's economic independence which provides resources for women to grow their microbusinesses into million dollar plus enterprises. >> there are 10.5 million of women and vast majority of them are $60,000 or less in revenue.
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so there a lot of room for growth. >> since 2005 make mine a million has been helping women achieve economic success. to participate, they must have owned a business for two years. though selecting to an event where they pitch their business to a panel of judges and a live audience. >> it's sort of like miss america zblrk and winners receive business coaching and financing and marketing tools to help propel their businesses to more lucrative territory. up next, the bugs surrounding thehehe area artist
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the bay area is filled with relevant artists but some have more unusual techniques. wayne freedman introduces us to one of them. >> there really is an old chinese proverb, whoever loved and understands a garden will find contentment in. with work being the operative word. he has entered his yard seeking inspiration from a perfect plant. >> it's been known as poison hemlock of socrates fame. >> robert is a professional photographer, he has landscapes are world-renowned but vistas
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like these begin to feel like dead ends. >> i could see my future would just look like my past if i continued to do that. >> so you might notice as he enters this dark room he has yet to use a traditional camera and never will. he lays the plant on a piece of photo paper and hooks i it on up to a electrical charge and zaps it with 40,000 volts. >> when it does, the air around the plant is ionized and gives off ultra violent light. >> the as a result unique. it took a year to perfect and caught his wife off guard. >> were you surprised when he came up with this? >> yes. >> i didn't know what he was talking about for a very long time. >> she sat me down and said that
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i needed to get focused on what i was going to accomplish and get on with it. >> when people say robert's work generates a buzz, they aren't talking literally. the photographs are like inkblots open to interpretation. by now, robert has heard a few of them. >> old man in the clouds, gnome in the trees, the face of god. >> do you buy into that? >> everything i have to say about that discussion is bounded by the four sides. >> that is not an answer? >> no, it's not. i think art that is powerful poses more questions than it answers. >> in robert's case it answers what do you do when you are tired of shooting landscapes, you make a pretty good living.
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these prints now sell around the world. the inspiration is right outside his front door. >> i have a big yard. >> if you want more information on the stories on our program today, go to our website at and look under the news links on the left side for assignment 7. that is all for this edition of assignment 7. i'm eric thomas, thanks for joining us. we'll see you next time.
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